Every now and then we will highlight a stand-out moment as part of our “On This Date in Magic History” series. It could be a dominant performance, a heartbreaking loss, a free agent signing or any other moment worth revisiting. Feel free to share your memories in the comments below or even post your own Magic Moment in the FanPosts section.
In April of 1993 while playing in New Jersey, Shaquille O’Neal tore down the backboard in emphatic fashion. A few months later, he returned to the area and did something even more impressive.
It was 24 years ago today - November 20, 1993 - that Shaq had what could be considered his most dominant performance in a Magic uniform. The 21-year-old O’Neal recorded what stands to this day as one of the NBA’s most impressive triple-doubles by scoring 24 points, grabbing 28 rebounds and swatting 15 shots in the Magic’s 87-85 win over the New Jersey Nets.
O’Neal, who was born not far from the Nets’ arena in New Jersey, had dozens of his family and friends in attendance for the game.
''Some nights I play great, some I play like I'm still in college,” O’Neal told the Orlando Sentinel after the game. “But I was glad I played well tonight. My family was up there, about 70 or 80 of them - uncles, cousins, aunts. I grew up in New Jersey. But I usually don't play as well in front of my family.''
Shaq’s rebounding and block totals from that performance would both stand as career-highs for O’Neal, who recorded just two triple-doubles in his 19-year career.
Playing in his second season in the NBA at the time, Shaq was joined in the starting lineup by rookie Penny Hardaway, who nearly recorded a triple double of his own with 15 points, 11 rebounds and seven assists to go along with three steals and three blocks. Nick Anderson led all scorers with 25 points. Jeff Turner added 10 points and six rebounds, and Scott Skiles had four points and eight assists.
Check out the full box score courtesy of Basketball Reference.